Good Article:  DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF AN URBAN CHURCH

This is an article[1] worth reading modeling how the Asset Based Community Development approach of Community Development can work in helping congregational leaders get a positive handle on church growth.  The article is about the work of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and her pastor Rev. Mike Mather who has done significant work in helping this congregation change the way they think about people – “as people with gifts and, not just needs.”   They also changed how they viewed themselves as “receivers of gifts of others” instead of “the bestower of gifts in responding to needs of others.” jwho

While I endorsed and tried to model the use of this ABCD approach in the church I served[3] I could have/should have been much more aggressive on my watch as pastor in training and implementation.  This model of reaching into the community is a great way for churches to do community development without the “in-your-face” activism that so often alienate some congregational leaders who are simply not inclined to be aggressive with their outreach.  I like the fit with our Presbyterian way of doing things – grass roots up (vs. top down) way of building on the gifts (assets) of those in the community around the church.  In my mind, this is a no-brainer way of doing the work of community development.  Link:  http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/5906/death-and-resurrection-of-an-urban-church

This article – A GOOD READ!

[1]  DEATH AND RESUREECTINO OF AN URBAN CHURCH, March 25, 2015, Robert King.  http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/5906/death-and-resurrection-of-an-urban-church

[2]   Robert King is a reporter for the Indianapolis Star

[3]  The Warren Avenue Presbyterian Church, Saginaw, Michigan.  I served this urban church as pastor from 1985-2013.

I cannot ignore NEXT Church articles/resources when they appear in my email or on Facebook.  The latest email, NEXT U: Mission Shift in Christian Education, through the eyes of Jen James asks critical questions not only for Church educators but congregation mission teams.

These are excellent questions recognizing “that the local church is only as healthy as the community surrounding it.” 

1. Where are the places of health in your community? Do you see this health reflected in your congregation? If so, how?

2. Where are the places of brokenness in your community? Are those places of brokenness present in the congregation too?

3. What breaks God’s heart in your community?

 

Link to article:

http://nextchurch.net/next-u-mission-shift-christian-education/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=next-u-mission-shift-christian-education#.U-Sz2u7D-1s

 

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=a93bb637-dad5-4fb3-bc05-dbd9a95328b9&c=ebfc19a0-b6da-11e3-9cc4-d4ae529a8575&ch=ec8805f0-b6da-11e3-9d3d-d4ae529a8575 NEW FUTURE FOR AN AGING CONGREGATION An Alban story about the northeast Dallas Gaston Oaks Baptist Church.  Mostly white with the average being 83, this congregation has found a way to move forward with dwindling resources.  This is a story of revitalization and transformation.  I have been preaching this for years:  small, struggling churches have options other than to die!

marriageguide.mlp.org

MARRIAGE & THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.)

A peoples guide for study and conversation

 The issue of gay marriage has become a ‘hot potato’ topic in church and society.  I found this study guide produced by More Light Presbyterians a helpful guide to add to the arsenal of resources for study and conversation.   You can download it from this link.  

Keep this prayer in mind from the Book of Common Worship.  

 “Through the embrace of love and the bonds of godly affection, make us one in the Spirit by your peace which makes all things peaceful.  We ask this through the grace, mercy and tenderness of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Book of Common Worship pg. 812

“I Wanna Be Rich” by Rev. Jao Cho

 

http://justiceunbound.org/carousel/i-wanna-be-rich/ 

“I Wanna Be Rich”

The Kingdom of God and the Myth of the Americdan Dream

By Rev. Jao Cho, Tampa, Florida. 

I anjoyed this article by Jao Cho from Tampa, Florida. had an impact on me.   We are called within the context of community to be stewards of all God has entrusted our care.  We are called to be stewards of all life.  Rev. Jao Cho says:

Thankfully, through my experience at Church of All Nations, I have learned a new way of understanding what it means to be rich. I have found a treasure that “neither moth nor rust consumes” and that can never be bought or stolen from me. I have discovered the joy living together in intentional Christian community.

Which world do we chose to live?   The profit-driven, individualized, high tech “I want to get rich” world?    Or the God-driven/Christ centered world where we learn to place our resources next to those things God calls us in life to value?   Enjoy this article that comes from a young pastor who os “right on” with what he has to say!